Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them.” Exodus 6:1-3
When God first appeared to Moses in the wilderness, Moses had long ago resigned to the fate of a shepherd. Gone were his youthful dreams of being a savior to his people (see Acts 7:23-25). Years of brokenness and isolation had snuffed out all worldly ambition and self-sufficiency and replaced them with great humility and crippling insecurity.
When the God of his forefathers interrupted his quiet life, Moses was content to worship at the burning bush, but was resistant to the invitation to pick up the staff of leadership that God was entrusting to him. Offering God one excuse after another, he certainly hoped that God would select someone else. Yet God firmly and lovingly persisted and addressed every fear and protestation with a future promise.
In Exodus 6 we see God offering to work in marvelous ways to make the mission of Moses successful. He offered DIVINE POWER. God declared that His mighty hand would convince an obstinate Pharaoh to not only agree to let God’s people go, but to actually drive them out from the land that enslaved them. God also offered His DIVINE NAME. God had revealed Himself as God Almighty (El Shaddai) to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God had shown Himself to be the one who provides and sustains. But God had sovereignly chosen not to make Himself fully known by another name, the LORD (Yahweh), until He revealed Himself to Moses.
By this name, God would offer PRECIOUS PROMISES to Moses and the people of Israel. In Exodus 6:6-8, God made seven distinct promises to Moses. He promised: 1) to bring his people out from the land of Egypt, 2) to free them from the oppression of slavery, 3) to redeem them, 4) to adopt them as His very own, 5) to be their One and Only God, 6) to bring them to the land He promised Abraham, and 7) to give them the land as an inheritance. Moses would see six of these promises come to pass in his lifetime. Joshua, his successor, saw all seven promises come to fruition.
What does this tell us about the work of God and how does this story relate to spiritual leaders? First, as Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King said in the transformational book Experiencing God, "God speaks!" There are times in the lives of every spiritual leader when Almighty God interrupts our lives for His greater purposes. This interruption is an invitation for us to join God in what He is already doing. This invitation requires faith and obedience and will undoubtedly involve tests that Blackaby called “crises of belief.” It is during this process of faith and obedience that God reveals Himself as provider, sustainer and promise-keeper. He is Mighty in Power. He is the LORD. Second, God is not deterred by our insecurities, weaknesses, failures or excuses, and He is persistent in His invitation. If we say “Yes” to God, then He says “I will” to us! So, what is holding you back? Stop resisting. Respond to His invitation to pick up the staff of spiritual leadership and then go out into your spheres of influence with a message of hope that is so desperately needed. As you step out in faith and obedience to the call of God, He will go before you with His Mighty Hand, His Divine Name and His Precious Promises!
Keith West is the founding President of Latitude GLC, a non-profit ministry in Rockwall, Texas. Keith believes his calling is to be a "Barnabas" to the next generation of spiritual leaders.